It’s important to have a little fun when decorating the nursery for your incoming little one.
So says interior designer Carole Milon of Design Waves.
For parents in nesting mode for a wee urchin, Milon places emphasis on enjoying the process of nursery preparation.
“It’s an opportunity to be a bit more playful in another room, thinking of childlike things, or playing with scale,” she says. “Something very large or very small in terms of accessorizing.”
With that in mind, she offers tips for new parents pondering what to do with the walls that will house their newborn offspring.
When it comes to wall treatments, like painting, Milon suggests letting go of the restrictions placed upon your imagination by
age or gender.
“Colour has to create a space you want to spend time in, because you’re going to be spending time in it as well,” she says. “You
don’t need to throw out your preferences because there’s a baby.”
That means if you have a consistent style in your home, it doesn’t need to be diluted after the arrival of the stork.
And just because it’s the baby’s room doesn’t mean it has to be clad in light, fluffy tints.
“The other thing I would say is that the colours don’t have to be pastel, pale pastels just because,” she says, bafflement rising in her voice. “I don’t know where that comes from.
“Colour is a very important element, but it can still be in keeping with the rest of the home.”
Being practical with furniture is a big issue.
The best advice, Milon points out, is to be practical in purchasing something that will grow with the child.
“The thing about furniture is, because it’s an investment, I think it’s really important to purchase things that are going to last for many years, so that they’re flexible,” she says. “If they have baby clothes in them for the first year, toddler clothes are still going
to work, and even into primary school.”
The same goes for bookshelves. The only wildcard parents will have to worry about is the crib.
“What it depends on is if there’s another child coming,” she admits. “But of course, you don’t know that when you’re buying your
first crib. You can sort of say you think you might be having another child.”
Most stores sell conversion kits that will transform the crib to toddler day bed, to full-on double bed.
“I would say a double bed is fine down the road, if the child is staying in that room and there’s adequate space for the rest of the furniture and some floor space for a carpet.”
Also key is to leave enough floor space for kiddos to play.
Lighting, window treatments and the odds and ends that make a baby room feel just like home are essential to the whole nesting experience.
When it comes to illumination, a “nice, quiet light” is ideal for when parents check on their urchin in the middle of the night.
In contrast, having a good window treatment to block out light when the sun is up is essential.
“You need good blinds, so when they’re sleeping during the day they’re not disturbed by the light,” she says. “Controlling the light and dark is really important, and covering up with various solutions to that is always a good thing.”
Odds and Ends
A touch of whimsy is always a requirement.
Milon assures decorating a child’s room is not a huge undertaking.
“Maybe thinking of elements of your own childhood that you enjoyed, whether you have some toys from then that you can put on the shelf, if they’re sort of vintage,” she suggests. “You can put them on a higher shelf but they can still become part of the feel of the room.”
More personal touches include photographs of important people in the wee one’s life.
“There could also be photographs of you and your partner (as children),” Milon says. “Because that sort of reminds you of what
it was like being a child as well, and keeps you in touch a little with what their process is going to be.”
Not to mention the shared wonder of it all.
“We tend to look through children through adult eyes, and it’s good if we could remind ourselves they see things a little more innocently and with wonder,” she adds. “We need to regain some of the wonder ourselves.”